Rays News

Tampa Bay Rays: 5 Bold Predictions for 2019

By Austin Reimann
Kevin Kiermaier (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images)
Kevin Kiermaier (Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 21: Tommy Pham #29 of the Tampa Bay Rays hits an RBI sacrifice fly in the sixth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 21, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – SEPTEMBER 21: Tommy Pham #29 of the Tampa Bay Rays hits an RBI sacrifice fly in the sixth inning during MLB game action against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on September 21, 2018 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Prediction: Tommy Pham will have a top-10 MVP season

Tommy Pham can mash. The former Cardinal that the Rays acquired at the trade deadline quickly proved that he was the Rays best hitter. Now, in 2019 he will have a full season to show us just how good he is.

In 39 games, he hit .334/.448/.622 and had a 194 OPS+. If he mirrors that type of production over the course of the year we could be looking at one of the best seasons in Rays history. While hoping for numbers that good may be a little unrealistic, I think we could absolutely look for numbers similar to his 2017 campaign. That year he hit .306/.411/.520 and put 23 balls in the seats.

This prediction isn’t completely unfounded as Pham finished 11th in MVP voting after the 2017 season. Down the stretch he blew those 2017 numbers out of the water and even though he was immensely successful during his short time in a Rays uniform, he wasn’t satisfied and has been playing Winter League ball to improve his swing.

With that type of determination and drive, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that Pham will be at the heart of the Rays lineup all season long. As long as he stays healthy, he will anchor a young Rays lineup on a daily basis and finish within the top ten for MVP voting.

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